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I’ve started a new blog, Make Life Fresh, and will no longer be posting here at Just The Frosting, Please.

But, I promise you Make Life Fresh will be even better than this blog (hard to imagine, I know!), so please hop on over there and take a look! And, don’t forget to add Make Life Fresh to your feed readers and subscribe so you won’t miss a post!

Thank you for reading!

Mollie

I think the title of this post pretty much says it all.

But, before we get to that…a quick recap on my hip recovery.

I had my three month follow-up with the surgeon last week and I am doing extremely well! All of the X-rays looked good! The space in my hip joint that they created by shaving down my femur head (gross, I know) is as it should be, therefore protecting my labrum and preventing it from tearing. My range of motion is good and I am definitely on the road to recovery.

One interesting thing the surgeon said was, “I really wouldn’t think of running for another month. And, even then, you need to make sure you are mentally ready, not just physically ready.”

This got me thinking about how much our minds and attitudes play a part in not only our fitness but also in our everyday lives. Being mentally ready to train for a race, move to a new city, take a new job, deciding whether or not pursue a graduate degree, etc. is absolutely necessary. As cliche as it sounds, confidence is key to success. There is no sense in rushing into something only to realize you aren’t ready for it. Believing in ourselves and in our decisions will help us endure many struggles.

So, there’s my pep talk. And, now on to the important stuff.

Mini. Reese’s. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies.

Oh my goodness. I can’t believe I haven’t been mixing candy into cookies for the past 10 years! Have you!?! Am I late to this awesome party? I wish you would have filled me in.

Little beautiful surprises of peanut butter and chocolate. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Recipe

Makes about 24 cookies (depending on how much dough you eat)

Ingredients

Chocolate chip cookie dough (pre-made, from a mix or from scratch)

Mini reese’s peanut butter cups

Instructions

Mix cookie dough with 1 bag of mini reese’s cups. Separate dough into balls and put onto cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove cookies and put on a cooling rack.

We all know tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and while some people love the holiday, I am just not one of those people. I don’t protest it or anything, it’s just not my cup of tea. After brainstorming why exactly I don’t take to the lovey dovey holiday, here are some reasons I’ve come up with:

1) I don’t like roses.

2) I don’t really like chocolates…I’d much rather have ice cream, cake, brownies or cookies.

3) I’m not really a mushy or overly romantic person.

4) I love all things birthdays, and my half birthday is February 12. I’d much rather celebrate my half birthday two days earlier.

5) I don’t look good in red.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’ve scoured the web to share some Valentine’s Day food ideas with you. You know, just in case you actually like Valentine’s Day and want to do something fun to celebrate. Not to mention, all of these things look absolutely delicious and I’d make them any day of the year. And, they’re all extremely easy to make and require minimum ingredients, so you still have time to make them before tomorrow!

Enjoy!

Valentine M&M Samoa Blondies

Heart Shaped Pizza

Rolo Cake Mix Bars

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Strawberry Heart Oreos

Mini Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m off to buy a few baking ingredients! Happy Valentine’s Day (if you’re one of those people who enjoy it!)

A few months ago, John and I tried to watch the first couple of episodes of “Up All Night.” Everyone we talked to thought the show was hilarious, but we just couldn’t get into it.

(source)

Then, last week, John casually mentioned he had an “Up All Night” marathon one evening because there was nothing else to watch. And, that not only does he like the show, but that the couple reminds him of us!

What?? How could this show be funny after we agreed it wasn’t funny a few months ago?!?

So, I sat down with him to watch a couple of episodes the other night just to see what made him suddenly change his mind.

And, then it hit me. I’m Reagan.

At least I’m Reagan in the episode “Week Off.” I tell you it was like watching myself on TV.

Please watch this clip to see what I’m talking about. (I couldn’t get it to embed into the post, sorry.)
http://www.movieweb.com/v/VItWUvtKvBB1xy

I’m not saying we fight about laundry…but let’s just set the scene. A few weekends ago, I wasn’t feeling too well. Any normal person would have spent the weekend sleeping and relaxing with a warm cup of soup. Not me, I “rocked this house,” like Reagan. I went to the container store and reorganized our pantry cabinets, front closet and guest bedroom closet.

Three straight days of organizing.

This is not normal. Although, in my defense, I think it did make me feel better.

But, what is it about organizing that makes me feel better? And, why do things have to be organized? Chris (in the show) makes a good point…were things so bad before? Well, our pantry cabinets had things falling out of them when you opened the door, so in my case, yes, things were so bad.

But, that’s not always the case. It’s clearly a control thing. I’ll admit it. At least I know I’m not the only crazy person in the world.

And, to make myself feel less crazy, I’m going to start watching “Up All Night” regularly so I have someone to relate to.

So, I ask you…do you ever see yourself as a character on TV? I’ve only seen a few episodes of “Up All Night,” but I definitely see similarities to Reagan. But, I see even more similarities to Claire Dunphy on “Modern Family.” But, that’s for another psycho-analytical post.

Super Bowl in Indy

Wow. What a weekend! The scene in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl was awesome. The city did an absolutely fantastic job hosting one of the most popular sporting events and received nothing but praise from everyone.

Way to go Indy! Even though many think of Indiana as a state filled with corn fields (and some parts of it are), the city really does come alive and definitely knows how to host big time events.

Oh, and I turned into a big Giants fan while I was there. It really would have been awful to have the Patriots win the Super Bowl in Indy. Whew!

So, there was a zipline…

In the middle of the street!

And a Super Bowl Village (picture Olympic Village from the Vancouver Olympics)…Oh, and the Olympics are only 6 months away! Can’t wait!

Anyway, in Super Bowl Village there were stages for bands, bars, food tents, heaters, hand warmers and tons of people. It was such an event!

So, downtown was hoppin’, but what would a trip to Indy be without a Butler game? A sell out crowd!

Unfortunately, Butler lost. But, the world’s largest game of knock-out took place after the game. How fun is it to break a world record?!? Well, let me tell you. It’s pretty fun.

Around 400 players! Unfortunately, we didn’t make it too far in the game, so I’m not sure who won. But it was fun nonetheless.

John and I got back to Chicago in time to watch the big game on Sunday, and what would the Super Bowl be without some appetizers? Well, it would still be the Super Bowl, but you know what I’m saying…

So, we made some nachos. Healthified.

While I was home my mom gave me the Eat This Now cookbook filled with recipes under 350 calories. We were inspired by the nachos…

Start by browning lean ground turkey. Once you’ve done that, line a baking sheet with tin foil and spread out tortilla chips. Add ground turkey, black beans (or black bean dip) and cheese.

Bake at 425 for about 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Remove and add salsa and avocados (or guacamole).

Yum. And, John even said, “These are as good as a restaurant.” Woo! Success!

Nachos Healthified

Inspired by Eat This Now

Ingredients:

Tortilla chips

Lean ground turkey

Shredded Mexican blend cheese

Black beans

Salsa

Avocado or guacamole

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Brown the ground turkey over medium heat.

Line baking sheet with tin foil and spread out tortilla chips. Top tortilla chips with ground turkey, cheese and black beans. Bake for about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with salsa and guacamole or avocados.

Enjoy!

Question: What’s your favorite Super Bowl snack? Leave a comment…

And I’m taking video of my physical therapy session tomorrow, so stay tuned so see what I’m up to as I recover from hip surgery!

Mexican Tortilla Soup

I’m Indy bound today!! Super Bowl city, here we come!Obviously the Colts aren’t in it this year after their 2-14 season, but I’m still excited to see the city all jazzed up. And, there are going to be celebrities there! I’ll be sure to let you know if I see anyone famous!

You might remember back in November I went to the holiday mart in Indianapolis and picked up a few bags of soup mixes to aid in my recovery from hip surgery. Well, we had a couple of bags leftover, so I made one on Sunday to have for the week.

Oh. My. Goodness. This really is one of the best soups I’ve had. Cherchie’s does it right.

And, it feels healthier since it’s not filled with sodium and preservatives like a lot of canned soups.

All you do is brown lean ground turkey and add it to the pot of ingredients.

So easy.

Mmm…have a bite!

It’s going to be in the high 40′s in Chicago this week and in the 50′s when we go home to Indianapolis this weekend. Crazy!

What are you doing to enjoy this warm weather??? Leave a comment!

I don’t know about you, but last week seemed to last forever. I’m hoping this week speeds on by because I’m headed to Indianapolis on Thursday for all of the Super Bowl festivities. I can’t wait to see the city all dressed up for the big event!

A quick update on my hip: it’s getting better each week. Last week was a big one in physical therapy. I started doing walking and side lunges, really focusing on building up the strength and flexibility in my legs. There’s some core work as well, like a 2 minute plank and alternating side planks for 45 seconds each, repeated three times. I am dying after those! And, I’m still waiting for my six-pack to show up…I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens ;)

Swimming has been a big relief since I actually am able to get my heart rate up. I’ve been swimming three times a week for about 45-50 minutes. For most of the workout, I am alternating between fast and recovery laps…so basically a swimming interval workout.

Before I get to the recipe for this post, if you haven’t taken my poll yet, please do! It will only take you 30 seconds to complete, and I would really appreciate it!

Now, to the good stuff.

This is one of my go-to recipes. I’ve been making it since college! If you’ve noticed, I prefer recipes with few ingredients and that are easy. Here’s another one for you, courtesy of Rachael Ray.

Bake chicken.

Cook pasta.

Cook tomatoes, onion and garlic.

Chop basil.

Open bag of arugula.

Mix everything together.

Top with cheese.

Yep, that’s pretty much it. And, it makes enough to feed an army, so you’ll have leftovers for the week!

Recipe from Rachael Ray

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

Whole wheat penne

2 or 3 cloves garlic

1 large red onion

2 pints grape tomatoes

Fresh basil, chopped

3 cups arugula or spinach

1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Instructions

Fill a large pasta pot with water and place it over high heat. Once the water comes up to a boil, salt it and drop in the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve a mugful of starchy cooking water, then drain and reserve.

While the water is coming up to a boil, place a large skillet over high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Season the chicken pieces with the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper then add it to the preheated skillet. Cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 4 minutes per side. (Or, bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then chop up and add in at the end.)

Once the chicken is brown, add the onions to the pan, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook a couple of minutes more then add the tomatoes and cover the pan with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes burst open and begin to release their juices, about 6-7 minutes (if they haven’t started to burst open by that time, mash them lightly with a potato masher or wooden spoon). Season the mixture with salt and pepper. 

Add the drained pasta and reserved starchy cooking water to the skillet with the chicken and tomatoes, and toss over the heat until combined, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil, arugula, and cheese.